Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 1) 47

You're assuming that the taxpayer getting as much money directly from a sale as possible is in some way legitimate government policy.

The government is not a business and the "taxpayer" has more interests than simply short term reduction of their taxes. In particular a lower cost of living, something we'll get if there's better competition and if we don't force businesses in general to have absurd unnecessary costs, is likely to benefit us more.

Short term "maximizing direct revenues from auctions" thinking is what got us into the stupid situation where spectrum auctions are geographic, resulting in decades of overpriced, poor quality, cellular service. It's also part of a mentality that's undermining every attempt to have the private sector provide quality infrastructure in the first place, usually at great social and economic cost to the rest of us. The same idiocy, practiced through property taxes, is in part why the entire railroad system in the US collapsed in the 1960s and 1970s.

We need to get away from that kind of thinking, and start looking at cost of living issues rather than what tax rate we can get away with.

Comment: Re:Government picking favorites (Score 1) 47

Saying "Those with money can run amok" is also picking favorites. This is about trying to get some fair criteria in for ensuring a large group of telecommunications companies will have enough spectrum, a publicly managed and limited resource.

I'm not always a fan of the way the FCC does things. The insanity of making spectrum geographic, for example, simply because that would maximize revenues when auctioning them, cost the US a decade or more of high prices and abysmal service. But this rule seems entirely reasonable.

Comment: Re:Bad suggestion (Score 1) 1264

by squiggleslash (#46768215) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

All those, including the submitter, who argue as if Stevens is arguing that the original amendment meant "members of militias" are missing the point. Stevens is proposing a change to the constitution. He was a judge. He didn't need "clarifications" to be proposed, because the constitution meant what it meant without those clarifications, so he's never going to propose a clarification.

This is about changing the constitution. And yes, it's perfectly fine to propose changes, it's not a perfect document, never will or can be. Whether this particular proposed change is a good idea is open to question, but the notion that the only reason to propose a constitutional amendment is to have it say the same thing it did previously, using different words, is completely absurd. You should know better.

Comment: This confirms my point of view (Score 5, Funny) 44

by squiggleslash (#46766867) Attached to: Mt. Gox Ordered Into Liquidation

Many of my critics have claimed that the closure of Mt. Gox means something I'd prefer not to believe about Bitcoins. But ultimately, I think this proves they're wrong, and that surprisingly this actually confirms what I've been saying all along.

Sure, my view has its detractors. But they're not basing their viewpoint on calm, reasoned, objective criteria mixed with a bigger vision of how the world works and the economics of Bitcoins vs the economics of normal currencies. They're simply mixing some observations with their own prejudiced view of economics, and coming to the opposite conclusion.

I think, in the end, you'll find I'm right about Bitcoins and that my view is confirmed by the closure of Mt. Gox. It may not be the view you have, but it is the right one.

(C) All Bitcoin advocates/skeptics, 2014

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 3, Interesting) 275

by squiggleslash (#46757583) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

The American Civil War was not a war over slavery. It was a war over Federal vs. State control

It really was about slavery. The notion the South were just concerned about Fed being "too powerful" and being likely to "force" them to do things they didn't want to do over them kinda ignores the fact that whole Fugitive Slave thing, where the South was using the Federal government to force the North to do things they didn't want to do, and the Federal government turned out not to be powerful enough to do it.

And it was the complete failure of the Fugitive Slave acts, and the fact that the whole free trade/movement thing meant that without such a law, the South would be competely unable to deal with escaping slaves, that created the actual triggers for the creation of the Confederacy.

States Rights? There's a stronger argument that the North was fighting for those over the South. After failing to work within the system to force the North to do things they found completely abhorent, the South wanted to bypass the constitution completely by declaring independence and using its economic and military might instead. The North even limited its response to a silent "WTF" until the South fired first. The rest is history.

Comment: Re:Marginal costs (Score 1) 20

by squiggleslash (#46755969) Attached to: REPOST: Brandon Eich

I have children. I would say it's not a legitimate gripe of the alternative marriage crowd, and not because I benefit... (Also I've never heard it associated with the alternative marriage crowd, just a small group of people who don't want children, whether they're married or not. Usually they're the same group that obsesses over "overpopulation")

The purpose of progressivity in taxes is to ensure that taxes aren't so high as to make it difficult to live. On lower incomes, taking 20% of someone's income is essentially cutting into their living expenses. On higher incomes - well, you're cutting into your "Plasma TVs for every house in the room needing replacing because they're a week off" budget. OK, I'm being facetious on the latter, but you know what I mean.

Now, if your income supports multiple people, your cost of living will be higher. And it gets worse if the people you support means that some people who could potentially be wage earners can't do that because they have to be around supporting the others - or else you'd need to spend money on supporting the others while person who could be a wage earner or a caregiver takes on the former role.

And that describes having children exactly. You either have two working parents with high expenditures on childcare, or one working parent and no income from the caregiver parent.

Any reasonable society would recognize that the cost of living for the 2+1 group is higher than the 2 group, and set progressivity in the tax rate to reflect that.

Now, I know some people see it as a subsidy because they don't want children and don't see why other people should get a subsidy (etc), but it isn't one. Trying to get as much money out of parents as a non-parental couple is ultimately (1) a getting-blood-out-of-a-stone situation and (2) going to result in malnourished, poorly educated, badly brought up kids. Moreover, kids don't stay kids. Eventually they grow up. And they'll pay taxes.

It shouldn't bother anyone who's supportive of gay marriage. Taxes should be practical, and in any case, gays and lesbians who adopt (or use IVF and a donor, etc) will have exactly the same "benefits" (relief from taxes isn't really that, given it comes at the cost of the aforementioned higher cost of living, the real benefit is hearing your kid laugh, and being able to watch and guide them as they grow up, but I shouldn't have to say that...)

Comment: Re:It's not enough (Score 0) 202

by squiggleslash (#46755141) Attached to: Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

Flamebait is not about "saying things to get people pissed off"! Flamebait is about intentionally trolling to insight a response.

Urgh, I think the confusion here is that Slashdot has both Flamebait and Troll mods. In practice, almost every post that's legitimately moderated a Troll is also a Flamebait, and vice-versa.

I agree the original post is an example of both. It invents a strawman designed to demonize both those with concerns about Eich and also homosexuals and, one assumes, the liberal side of Congress, all together. It's not written in good faith, it exists purely to get people riled up, either defensive about their own position or attacking people for a view point they almost certainly don't have.

Comment: Re:Not malicious but not honest? (Score 1) 444

by squiggleslash (#46749317) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Right. Instead of a remotely-exploitable information leak, it's most probably reduced to (at worst) a low-grade denial-of-service attack caused by crashing HTTPS server processes no faster than they can respawn.

...but only on operating systems/platforms with a hardened malloc() that has been configured to use the hardening.

Comment: Re:Marginal costs (Score 1) 20

by squiggleslash (#46747307) Attached to: REPOST: Brandon Eich

I really don't think income tax has much to do with anything here. That is, if you changed to a national sales tax or one of the other oft-mentioned alternatives you'd simply create a problem that would ultimately need to be solved in the same way as you'd solve it for income tax, but with an additional layer of bureaucracy that at least doing everything through income tax avoids.

There are, of course, multiple ways to solve it for income tax. One is the current byzantine combination of filing statii and dependent credits that we currently have. Another would be a national income combined with a flatter (but still progressive) tax. I've always been a supporter of the latter, but it's a difficult sell.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!